Wisdom Teeth Problems: Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Young woman biting her finger nail with the questions, do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Whether you are an adolescent, parent, or grown adult, you’ve probably heard someone tell you about getting wisdom teeth removed.

And, we get it… hearing about a dental procedure is never fun or exciting.

Well…except to us. But that’s beside the point.

If you haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed yet, you’re probably wondering:

Do I really need my wisdom teeth removed?

Getting your wisdom teeth removed has become a sort of rite of passage – but not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed.

Let’s find out if you need this procedure and what can happen if you keep your wisdom teeth.

What are wisdom teeth?

Not to disappoint you, but…

No, wisdom teeth do not you smarter.

Wisdom teeth get their name because they usually come in when you are older – and one would hope, wiser.

You can expect these teeth around the ages of 17 to 21.

These teeth are located behind all your other teeth, in the very back of your mouth. You can expect two on the top and two on the bottom. Although, this isn’t the case for everyone, but more to come on that.

Wisdom teeth are molars and complete your set of 32 adult teeth. These molars are the toughest of them all, used to grind food, which is why they are wide…

And also cause a lot of problems.

These wisdom teeth problems are why, more often than not, they need to be removed.

Why do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Here are the four main reasons why your dentist may say you need your wisdom teeth removed:

  1. They are impacted: This means your wisdom teeth cannot come in properly. Most often they lie horizontally, instead of upright, and remain below the gumline. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of pain.
  2. They come in at the wrong angle: By not coming in straight and upright, they can push against and damage your surrounding teeth.
  3. Your mouth isn’t big enough: Simply put, your jaw does not have enough room for an extra set of molars. Some people theorize that this is because our jaws have changed over time from our diets.
  4. You can’t maintain optimal oral health: If you can’t reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush and floss, then you are going to be more susceptible to cavities and gum disease.

If you ignore your dentist’s advice and keep your wisdom teeth, then you will be putting your smile and health at risk.

Here’s how…

I got 99 problems...are my wisdom teeth one?

Common wisdom teeth problems

Before you read our list of wisdom teeth problems, you should know that:

Each year, 10 million wisdom teeth are removed in the United States.

This is a very common procedure and for good reason.

If you ignore your dentist’s recommendation to have your wisdom teeth removed, then watch out for these common wisdom teeth problems:

  • Ruin your smile: If your extra set of molars do not grow in properly, they can push your other teeth, causing mouth pain and bite problems. Have you had orthodontics? This could throw it all out the window and may require more orthodontic work to straighten everything out.
  • Jaw damage: Cysts can form around unsuitable wisdom teeth. If left untreated, they can destroy bones, roots, and nerves. If a cyst turns into a tumor, you may require surgery.
  • Sinus pain: Wisdom teeth in your upper jaw can push against your sinuses, leading to pain, pressure, headaches, and congestion.
  • Cavities and gum disease: Inflamed gums can be hard to clean. As pockets between the teeth and gums form, bacteria can grow, which can cause cavities and gum disease – the number one cause of unintentional adult tooth loss.

When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?

There isn’t an exact age for wisdom tooth removal.

However, the general rule of thumb is:

The younger the better.

As you get older, your bones become harder, which can make the removal and recovery process more difficult.

So:

If you or your teenage child have never had a wisdom tooth evaluation, then we recommend you schedule one with your dentist.

Your dentist will use x-rays to determine:

  • If you have wisdom teeth – you may not even know if they are hidden
  • If you need to have wisdom teeth removed
  • How many wisdom teeth need to be removed
  • When you should have your wisdom teeth removed

If you need wisdom teeth removed, you and your dentist will outline a treatment plan. To save time, you may be able to have multiple wisdom teeth removed in one appointment.

So, do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

This is honestly a question for your dentist.

Just because you have wisdom teeth doesn’t necessarily mean you need them removed.

You might be lucky and have your wisdom teeth will grow in perfectly straight and healthy.

Or you might be missing one or more wisdom teeth. After all, wisdom teeth are the most commonly missing teeth in adults.

However:

Many people with wisdom teeth get theirs removed to ensure their oral health, comfort, and beautiful smile.

To answer the question, “Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?” contact your dentist today to schedule an appointment or bring it up at your next six-month cleaning.

 


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission: source.

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Gum Disease: Get the Facts [Infographic]

Gum disease: Facts and symptoms.

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, is a very common illness among adults. You may wonder, “What is it? What are its causes? And is it preventable?”

When plaque isn’t removed by brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits, it can become a problem. Bacteria in plaque produce toxins that can infect gum tissue, causing redness, irritation, and bleeding.

As gum disease progresses, gums pull away from teeth, creating pockets. Over time, these pockets can become deeper, and as they fill with bacteria and toxins, gum tissue and bone are destroyed. This could ultimately result in tooth loss.

Initial stages of gum disease can be painless, so it’s important to see your dentist regularly so you can spot the signs and symptoms early!

Early periodontitis can be treated by your dental hygienist. A deep cleaning procedure called scaling, and root planing removes the buildup and bacteria from below the gum line or in areas your toothbrush cannot reach, thus allowing your gums to begin the healing process. After this treatment, the disease can be kept in check with brushing, flossing, and regular maintenance cleanings by your dental team.

Learn more about gum disease in the following infographic.

Gum disease causes, symptoms, and prevention

 

Infographic showing symptoms and causes of gum disease

Regular cleanings and checkups by your dental team are vitally important to keep your gums healthy! If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, be sure to express your concerns during your next dental visit.

 


 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission: source.

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Do Genetics Influence Oral Health?

Do genetics influence oral health?

We’ve all heard about growing scientific evidence of the effects our genetic makeup may have on a predisposition for certain diseases such as diabetes or heart disease. But what about dental diseases? Have you inherited a genetic inclination for cavities, periodontal disease, crooked teeth, or oral cancer?

You might be surprised to learn what the latest studies have to say about the connection between your genes and your oral health. What part of your oral health is actually in your control?

Genes and cavities

Are genetics a significant factor when it comes to developing cavities? Yes and no. Cavities are caused by bacteria. Sugar in the foods we eat feed the different types of bacteria that live on our teeth. The acid these bacteria produce is what erodes enamel and causes cavities.

A recent study showed that although there was a genetic disposition to some types of tooth bacteria, these generally weren’t the ones associated with tooth decay. Instead, the types of bacteria that could form cavities were those influenced by controllable factors, like eating sugary foods.

However, genetics also affect such things as the strength of your tooth enamel and how much bacteria-fighting saliva you produce. If your family seems to have a high incidence of dental cavities, what can you do? Ask your dentist about protecting your teeth with dental sealants. These can give your teeth the extra protection they may need to fight off the damaging effects of decay.

In the final analysis of the question of “nature or nurture” when it comes to cavities, the likelihood of your getting a cavity is probably more largely affected by environmental factors and not your genes. The best way to prevent cavities is still the dentist-recommended routine of daily brushing and flossing and regularly scheduled hygiene visits.

Genes and gum disease

Gum disease is characterized by sensitive and inflamed gums and if left untreated, can result in tooth and bone loss.

While genetic factors are known to play a role in gum disease, a lot of research still needs to be done to understand all the factors involved in its development. Periodontitis is a complex chronic inflammatory disease which is affected not only by genetic risk factors but also environmental factors and lifestyle. Today, dentists recognize that while genetic factors may be involved, the biggest contributing factor to gum disease is still a lack of consistently good oral care.

Is gum disease a problem members of your family have struggled to control? It would be good to mention it to your dentist. Early diagnosis and treatment is still the best way to protect your gums and teeth.

Is your family to blame for your bad teeth?

Genes and misaligned teeth

If you need braces, you’re probably not the only one in the family. Genetics play a significant role in determining the size of your jaw and teeth. When the jaw doesn’t have sufficient room to accommodate a full set of teeth, it can cause crowding, gaps, overbites, and underbites.

If tooth misalignment is a common problem in your family’s dental history, be sure to tell your dentist and don’t wait to get orthodontic treatment for your child. The earlier the treatment, the better. Early treatment can allow developing bones and teeth to grow in properly and prevent more serious and costly problems later.

Genes and oral cancer

Thousands of Americans die from oral cancer each year. Although lifestyle choices, such as tobacco and alcohol use, are the top risk factors for oral cancer, genetics can also play a minor role. Individuals carrying certain genetic markers have been found to have a higher risk of developing the disease.

Most dentists routinely screen for oral cancer during a patient’s hygiene visit. They use special equipment that can detect early cancer lesions before they have an opportunity to develop any further. If your dentist does not offer this life-saving exam as part of their routine treatment exam, then be sure to ask about it.

Who should you blame?

When it comes to problems with your oral health, as we’ve seen, there are many factors involved. Some of them you can blame on the collective gene pool of your parents; for others, sorry to say, you can only blame yourself.

When it comes to your health, a proactive, preventive approach is always the best course to take. If you know of genetic factors that could affect your oral health, be sure to talk to your dental provider about them, and as for factors you can control, take advantage of these by practicing an excellent oral care routine.

 


 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission: source.

 

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What Causes Receding Gums?

Smile with receding gums causes and solutions

Receding gums refers to gum tissue that has begun to pull away from the tooth structure, thus exposing more of the tooth and tooth root. What causes gum recession? Should you be alarmed if it happens to you? And can receding gums be fixed?

Left untreated, gum recession could make the tooth root or even bone tissue completely vulnerable—risking damage to the tooth nerve, losing the tooth, or a more severe infection! In this article, we’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, and real solutions for the condition known as receding gums.

What causes receding gums?

As with any condition, many factors can contribute to receding gums.

Periodontal disease takes home the first place prize of what causes receding gums. This spreading infection of the gingivae slowly eats away at your healthy gum and bone tissue.

Brushing your teeth too hard or too much can cause your gums to recede, according to the Journal of Periodontology.

Inadequate oral hygiene contributes to bad bacteria and plaque buildup—which destroy your gums.

Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make your gum tissues more vulnerable to recession. The use of birth control hormones may also have a similar effect.

Tobacco users usually have more plaque buildup that hurts gums. Smokeless tobacco can irritate your gums, causing gum (periodontal) disease. To enhance the flavor of smokeless tobacco, sugar is often added, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

Grinding your teeth or a misaligned bite can cause irregular wear patterns on your gums and teeth, resulting in gum recession in the affected areas.

Certain medications or medical conditions can also inflame your gums or cause them to be more susceptible to periodontal disease.

How can you tell if your gums are receding?

Now that we know what causes receding gums, what should you do if you suspect your gums are pulling away? Only a qualified dental professional can properly diagnose and help you treat the condition. Healthy gums are a nice healthy pink color and the gum line looks consistent around all your teeth. If your gums are receding, you will likely begin to notice:

  • Gums that are pulling away from the tooth
  • Teeth appear to be longer than others
  • Swollen gums
  • Pockets or gaps between teeth
  • Reddish or bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Teeth that are becoming loose

How can you fix receding gums?

Woman brushing her teeth to prevent what causes receding gums

Do you experience any of the above symptoms? Since gum tissue does not grow back, you need to talk with your dentist about personalized ways you can prevent gingival recession and stop gums from receding further. If you have gum disease, your gums and bone structure may put up a good fight against this progressive issue, but they cannot win the battle without help from a qualified oral health expert!

Depending on the amount of damage caused by gum disease, you may be able to get a deep cleaning and antibiotics to help clear out the infection and harmful bacteria. For more advanced cases, surgery or tissue grafting will be needed to regenerate the damaged gum and bone structures.

Remember that gum disease is not the only cause of receding gums. Preventive measures such as aligning your bite, using a custom night guard, quitting smoking, and treating cavities early on will help prevent damage to your precious smile!

You can fight gum recession!

You can prevent gum disease by brushing and flossing at least twice a day, attending regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist twice a year, and eating a well-balanced and healthy diet. We might say this a lot, but prevention is key. Simply knowing what causes receding gums won’t solve the problem. If you suspect your gums are receding, you should contact your dentist immediately to find out the cause of receding gums and prevent further damage.

Healthy gums are the foundation for a healthy smile, so taking care of your gums is tantamount to taking care of your pearly whites!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission: source.

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Does Xylitol Prevent Cavities? The Facts You Need to Know

Patient having dental exam but wondering: does xylitol prevent cavities?

What do you really know about xylitol? As a naturally occurring sugar, typically processed from birch trees and corn cobs, xylitol has gained popularity as a sugar substitute and potential dental hygiene game changer. If you’re grasping to understand how anything sweet can improve your oral health and shocked that your dentist is talking about it, you’re not alone. We’re here to give you the facts and answer the question: Does xylitol prevent cavities?

How does xylitol prevent cavities?

Most people don’t realize that dental caries (or cavities) are the result of an infectious and transmittable disease caused by one of the many oral bacteria living in your mouth called Streptococcus mutans. When this particular bacteria feeds on the sugar you eat, it produces acid that contributes to tooth enamel erosion, plaque production, gum disease, cavities, and eventual tooth loss. How does xylitol prevent cavities?

  • Xylitol has properties that make it indigestible to bacteria, which decreases the number of bacteria with negative effects and reduces the instances of cavities.
  • Xylitol raises the pH of the mouth, creating an alkaline oral environment which limits the growth of bacteria.
  • Xylitol creates higher calcium levels in saliva which contributes to the production of enamel.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the amount of xylitol consumed must fall within a certain range (three to eight grams) and be spread throughout the day for maximum benefits. You can find xylitol in the following products:

  • Gum: Be sure to check the amount of xylitol in each piece (not serving) and if there are other sugar additives, like sorbitol or aspartame.
  • Mints and Candies: See a great list of products here.
  • Granular: Can be used for baking to replace refined sugar.
  • Syrups: This may be a better option for children under four years of age to reduce the risk of choking.

These are the scientific reasons why xylitol fights against cavities; however, clinical studies showing that xylitol reduces cavities are difficult to perform, leaving conflicting research on the validity of the claims.

What are the facts you should know about?

Scoop of xylitol with a table of pros and cons

Natural doesn’t mean unprocessed

Although xylitol is found in fruits and vegetables (not chemically produced like artificial sweeteners), it is still highly processed. The best source of xylitol is derived from hardwood birch trees, rather than genetically modified corn products.

Xylitol is not zero calorie

Xylitol is not sugar-free, although it contains 40% fewer calories than sugar. People with diabetes should be aware that although it has a low glycemic index of seven (compared to 84 for refined sugar), it may still affect blood glucose levels unlike other natural sweeteners like stevia.

Xylitol can cause gastrointestinal issues

Like most sugars, xylitol will pull water into the intestinal tract, which can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. People with IBS should avoid consuming xylitol. To minimize side effects, it is recommended that xylitol is introduced slowly, over a week or more, for the body to adjust.

Xylitol is dangerous for pets

You will want to keep your xylitol away from your dog and avoid sharing food that contains the sweetener. Xylitol will cause their body to produce insulin, leading to hypoglycemia or even liver failure.

A multi-faceted approach to cavity prevention

So to answer the question: “Does xylitol prevent cavities?” – the answer can be yes and no. Your conclusions may be based on your values. Are you looking for a natural, healthier alternative to refined sugar? Are you one who needs evidence-based results from clinical trials? Are you looking for ways to reduce your risk of cavities any way possible?

Xylitol has its place among a multi-faceted approach to dental hygiene. It would be extreme to say that chewing any sugar-free gum will ever replace daily brushing and routine visits to your dentist. And it would be just as unbalanced to claim that xylitol has no benefits to oral care at all. So we leave the choice up to you.

Caring for your family’s oral health involves educating yourself on trending topics, prioritizing regular visits to your dentist, promoting a healthy diet and maintaining a routine of brushing and flossing. What we can say with certainty is that your dentist and hygiene team are always here to put your smile first!

 


 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission: source.

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Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Many wonder are dental x-rays safe?

Having an x-ray is often a part of a visit to the dentist. In fact, dental x-rays are the only form of medical radiation received on a regular basis by many men, women, and children. But because x-rays involve exposure to radiation which can be harmful, some wonder, “Are dental x-rays safe?” Many ask:

> Why does the dentist need an x-ray? Can’t he just do a visual examination of my teeth?
> Why do they need different types of x-rays?
> How much radiation am I actually getting?

> What if I’m pregnant? Is it safe for my baby?
> How often do I really need an x-ray?

Let’s find out what the facts reveal in answer to each of these questions and then you’ll be in a better position to decide how safe dental x-rays are for you and your family.

Why does the dentist need x-rays of your teeth?

An x-ray allows your dentist to see bones, tissue, and hidden surfaces of your teeth that they can’t see with just the naked eye during a visual exam.

Dental x-rays are invaluable in providing information to a dentist about a patient’s oral health such as early-stage cavities, the presence of gum disease, oral cancers or some types of tumors. If these problem areas continue undetected and without treatment, they can grow into serious dental problems that involve more time, money, and extensive dentistry to fix.

An x-ray allows your dentist to:

  • Find cavities, even hidden ones.
  • Look at the roots of your teeth.
  • Check the health of the bone around and beneath your teeth.
  • Check on the development of erupting teeth.
  • Monitor your overall dental health.

A dentist uses x-rays to help make a correct diagnoses of your oral health.

Why does the dentist use different types of x-rays?

Various types of x-rays are used by your dentist for very specific purposes. A combination of x-rays may be necessary depending on the treatment plan outlined by your dental team. Some of the x-rays your team may suggest include:

Bite-wing X-rays 
Bite-wings are the most commonly used x-ray during an initial exam and in subsequent check-ups. These highlight the crowns of the back teeth. Dentists take one or two bite-wing x-rays on each side of the mouth. Each x-ray shows the upper and lower molars (back teeth) and bicuspids (teeth in front of the molars.)

Periapical X-rays 
These x-rays focus on only one or two teeth at a time. A periapical x-ray looks similar to a bite-wing x-ray, but it shows the entire length of each tooth, from crown to root.

Extraoral X-rays
Extraoral x-rays are made outside the mouth. These are considered “big picture” x-rays because they not only show the teeth, they also provide information on the jaw and skull and are often necessary for the effective treatment of TMD/TMJ.

Panoramic X-rays
This x-ray captures the entire mouth in a single image, including the teeth, upper and lower jaws, surrounding structures and tissues and requires a special machine. The benefit of this type of x-ray is that it eliminates the need for multiple x-rays.

Panaramic x-rays create a full view of your teeth, jaws, and face.


Digital Radiographs

Digital radiographs are the newest x-ray technique used by dental offices. Standard x-ray film is replaced with a flat electronic pad or sensor. The image is transferred digitally into a computer, where it can be viewed on a screen, stored, or printed out.

Even though digital x-rays produce lower levels of radiation than standard x-rays and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking x-rays that are needed, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

How much radiation are you getting during an x-ray?

Dental x-rays are one of the lowest radiation dose treatments performed. A routine exam, which includes four bitewings, is about 0.005 mSv. That’s about the same amount of radiation you’d get on an average day from the sun or about the same amount of radiation exposure from a short airplane flight of 1 or 2 hours. A panoramic dental x-ray, which goes around your entire head, has about twice that amount of radiation.

Are x-rays safe for pregnant women?

Routine x-rays can be postponed until after the birth. But if x-rays are necessary because of a needed dental procedure that can’t be postponed, the American College of Radiology says that no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus. And the fact is, with dental x-rays, there is hardly any exposure to radiation to any other part of the body except the teeth.

How often do you need an x-ray?

How often dental x-rays should be taken depends on a patient’s oral health condition, age, risk for disease and any signs and symptoms of oral disease.  The American Dental Association’s long-standing position is that dentists should order dental x-rays for patients only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment.

And, of course, your dentist should be following the procedures recommended by the ADA to minimize radiation exposure. This includes the use of abdominal shielding (such as protective aprons). Also, the ADA recommends that dentists use E or F speed film for traditional x-rays, the two fastest film speeds available which lessen the amount of radiation needed for a good picture, or that they use digital x -rays.

If you have questions about the necessity for an x-ray ordered by your dental team, talk with them about why they feel the x-ray is needed. In the final analysis, you and your dentist must weigh the benefits of having an x-ray against the risk of minimal radiation exposure.


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

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Comprehensive Dentistry Ensures Your Families Healthy Smiles and Bodies

Comprehensive dentistry by our Danbury dentist provides healthy smiles and bodies.

Safeguarding our families health is always one of our top priorities. Did you know there is something called the oral-systemic link that has a powerful impact on the health of yourself and your family? The oral-systemic link is the relationship between oral health and the health of the rest of the body.

At Soams Dental, we are committed to preventing and reducing the risk of oral disease because we know it can drastically improve your overall health and well-being!

Comprehensive dentistry focuses on how the health and beauty of your smile can be protected and enhanced with planned and consistent dental treatment.

Why Comprehensive Dental Care is so Important!

Research shows that a person’s oral health directly impacts their overall health. It’s one of the main reason why dentistry had been called the first line of defense in protecting your whole-body health.

Comprehensive dentistry is your first line of defense against

Comprehensive dentistry is your first line of defense for protecting your whole body health.

Everything inside your mouth is systemically connected to the rest of your body. Many recent studies show a direct connection between poor oral health and several devastating health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Pregnancy complications

Early detection is important because it offers the best chance for prevention and treatment of disease. Dr. Gerfen and her team can be an invaluable asset for detecting potential problems that begin in the mouth.

Quote by Dr. Gerfen.

Think Pro-actively!

By scheduling a check-up with our team, we will alert you to problems before they have time to spread further. Here are some warning signs you should watch for:

  • Bleeding gums: this is not normal and is not caused by proper tooth brushing.
  • Swollen gums: infected dental tissues swell just as they would in other parts of the body.
  • Signs of infection: the presence of pus along the gumline signals significant disease. Please don’t ignore it!
  • Shifting teeth: teeth should be rooted solidly. Movement or leaning of the teeth indicates their root system has been compromised.
  • Chronic bad breath: can signal the presence harmful bacteria buildup that needs immediate professional attention.
  • A family history of periodontal disease: Be pro-active and stop any infection from starting.

Download our informative and FREE infographic. We created to help our patients prevent dental problems before they arise.

davenport-dentist-infographic-preview

Comprehensive Dentistry Infographic

 

Your Families Health Matters to Us

We offer comprehensive dentistry services by our Danbury dentist for the whole family. These will keep your smile in its best condition from the very beginning, from our thorough hygiene exams to Invisalign.

How is your families oral health? Make an appointment today by calling us at (203) 743-1972 or contact us online, and we will be happy to help you get on the road to a healthier life!

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How Good Oral Health May Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast cancer awareness month.

Do you notice an increase in pink every October? From politicians to football players to community members, the color seems to pop up everywhere!

Since 1985, when National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded, October has been designated as a time to increase awareness of this deadly disease.

Pink ribbons – and pink in general – point to the need for awareness, research, and fundraising. Not surprisingly, these are all important aspects that work toward the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure for breast cancer.

While some breast cancer stats are staggering – according to current statistics at Breastcancer.org 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. in 2016 – there are also some hopeful breakthroughs. Read on to learn about what you can do to help reduce your chances.

The Danger is Real

Thankfully, breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing in the year 2000 – BUT the danger is still very real, and prevention and treatment still have a long way to go.

Did you know that breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women? While skin cancer is number one, a HUGE amount of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetimes (about 1 in 8).

Shockingly, a woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately DOUBLES when she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but at the same time, about 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.

These cancerous, genetic mutations are said to be a result of the aging process and life in general. This is where small, lifestyle choices – like flossing every day – can have a positive effect on your overall health.

Good Oral Health Matters

As studies have shown, there is a link between breast cancer and dental health.

In fact, if a person has poor oral health or periodontal disease, they may be 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer!

Luckily, your oral health habits are something that you have control over! With proper care, you and your dental team can monitor and reduce your chances of periodontal disease and other health-related issues.

For good oral health care, you’ll need to:

  • Brush twice a day. Use a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste approved by the ADA (American Dental Association).
  • Floss daily. Clean between your teeth with dental floss or another interdental cleaner every day.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Schedule your professional cleaning and checkup every six months.

 

Good oral health can prevent breast cancer. Good oral hygiene includes brushing, flossing, and dental visits.

Good oral hygiene includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.

Think Pink!

While this deadly disease is on the decline, it’s still important to use October to remind your friends and family about the necessities of breast cancer awareness. Remember, early detection is key, and it truly can save a life!  Are you due for your next hygiene appointment? Just call us at (203) 743-1972 or contact us online and we will be happy to set one up for you.

How do you show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness month? Please tell us in the comments below!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Sourcehttps://www.roadsidedentalmarketing.com/blog/dental-articles/

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Flossing: Important or Not? [Infographic]

 

To floss or not to floss? The importance of flossing has recently been questioned.

There has recently been some controversy over the importance of flossing – is flossing really necessary to maintain healthy teeth? Despite conflicting reports, dentists defend keeping flossing a priority. Don’t toss your floss into the trash just yet – there are several sound reasons to keep flossing a part of your daily oral care routine.

According to the American Dental Association, flossing is “an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.” Flossing removes more food particles than brushing alone. If left unchecked, those food particles can lead to plaque buildup, which could then result in cavities, gum disease, and more serious health issues. Learn more about the importance of flossing (and how to do it effectively) in the infographic below:

Dentists continue to defend the importance of flossing. Learn how to do it right in this infographic.

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Sourcehttps://www.roadsidedentalmarketing.com/blog/dental-articles/

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How to Baby Your Teeth During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - Woman researching teeth questions during pregnancy

If you’re not up on the latest oral-systemic link, it may seem odd that pregnancy affects your teeth, but it does! At the same time, your dental health has a very real effect on your developing baby. Many articles report that poor dental habits have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. (Yikes!)

The positive news, however, is that you CAN take control over your hygiene and general oral health, and can likely sidestep that old adage “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.”

First of all, that outdated saying is simply not true! Calcium is not lost from a mother’s teeth during pregnancy, BUT there are still some real dangers to be aware of – and we want to share a few preventative tips to help you maintain good oral health throughout your pregnancy.

Read on to learn about a few potential perils, and find ways to keep your mouth healthy for BOTH you and your new bundle of joy.

Watch Out for Those Sweet Treats

Are you constantly searching out ice cream to go with those pickles? Some say that sweet cravings forecast a baby girl (sugar and spice, and everything nice!), but when it comes to sugary snacks, a more concrete fact is that an increase in carbohydrates can negatively affect your oral health. Simply put: more sugar means a higher chance of tooth decay.

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - Help your teeth during pregnancy with healthy foods.

Choose healthy, lower-sugar foods to help ward off tooth decay.

To help ward off unwanted cavities, simply choose lower-sugar foods. In the event that only a sweet treat will satisfy your pregnancy craving, do your best to opt for a healthier option, like fresh fruit. BONUS: Strawberries are also said to have a teeth whitening effect (double score)!

It’s also wise to immediately rinse your mouth with milk or water after eating sugary foods. While brushing your teeth is undeniably better, if you’re feeling worn out and all you can muster is a swish of a beverage, it’s better than nothing – and hey, milk goes great with donuts … just saying.

Save Your Teeth from Morning Sickness

For many women, morning sickness is an unpleasant companion throughout pregnancy (specifically in the first trimester). If you’re feeling queasy and find yourself hunched over the toilet bowl, you have our most sincere sympathies.

The reason vomit affects your teeth has to do with the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to. Basically, stomach reflux and acids eat away at your tooth enamel (the outer covering on your teeth).

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - pregnancy morning sickness dental teeth tips

While it may seem like a good idea to remove the acid quickly, DO NOT brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. The vigorous, repetitive action of the toothbrush may actually scratch the tooth enamel while it’s still covered in stomach acids.

Instead, it’s best to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water, and follow up with a fluoride mouthwash or a dab of toothpaste applied with your finger. If you can, aim to brush about one hour after vomiting.

Prevent Hormonal Damage to Your Teeth

Another significant “bonus” about pregnancy: all those extra hormones! Hopefully you aren’t crying at car commercials, or experiencing any of the following pregnancy-related dental concerns, but if you are – just know that we are here to help you through them!

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy gingivitis is basically an inflammation of the gums that causes swelling and tenderness. Have you noticed that your gums bleed a little (or a lot) when you brush or floss? While this is fairly normal, if left untreated, full-blown gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease, or worse.

We don’t want to freak you out, but gingivitis has been linked to low birth weight baby, or premature birth, so it’s definitely worth coming in for a routine teeth cleaning to check in on your gum health.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a chronic gum infection that is caused by untreated gingivitis. Pregnancy may worsen this condition, and it can actually lead to tooth loss.

Again, if you suspect you’re dealing with gingivitis, please schedule an appointment so we can help before it leads to periodontal disease, which can be much more serious.

Pregnancy Tumors

Pregnancy tumors are lumps that appear along the gum line and between your teeth (most often in the second trimester). They may bleed easily but are not harmful or cancerous.

They may be related to excess plaque and usually disappear after pregnancy, but if you’re feeling concerned, please talk to your dentist about removing them.

Prepare for Birth With Preventative Action

Maintaining your own health – both before and during your pregnancy – is an important facet of caring and planning for your developing baby.

Pregnancy DOES affect your teeth, and many studies reveal that maintaining healthy teeth and gums not only impact your overall health, but that of your developing baby.

Pregnancy Teeth Tips

Take action! Call your dentist to schedule an appointment today!

If you’re still in the planning stages of adding a new baby to your family, you would do well to visit your dentist and resolve any dental-related issues beforehand.

If you’re currently pregnant, please consider the points above, and schedule your appointment today! At the very least, a cleaning will set your mind at ease, and then you can focus on the fun parts of having a baby (like nursery planning and teeny onesies)!

How are you handling your changing body? Did any of these tips surprise you, or do you have any tips for other moms-to-be? Please share a comment below!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Sourcehttps://www.roadsidedentalmarketing.com/blog/dental-articles/

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